HANCOCK, Mich. (Blugolds.com) – With a 4-1 victory at Finlandia University (Mich.) Friday, the UW-Eau Claire women's hockey team secured a spot in the eight-team NCHA O'Brian Cup Playoffs, which begin in two weeks.
The Blugolds struck early, with two first period goals. The first was scored by Sam Knutson (So.-North St. Paul, Minn.) in the 11th minute. The Blugolds stayed hot by scoring another goal in the 17th minute off the stick of Taylor Bowker (Fr.-Cambridge, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti). Finlandia scored once in the first period, making the game 2-1 after the first period.
The Blugolds found the back of the net two more times in the contest. Knutson scored again on a power play in the second period, and Ashley Baugher (Fr.-Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) scored with less than seven minutes remaining to put Eau Claire up by three.
Alyssa Ahlgren (So.-Hayward, Wis.) led the Blugolds with two assists. The team combined for seven assists.
Mara Stormer (Sr.-Waunakee, Wis.), the Blugolds' keeper, had a relatively easy night as she finished with three saves facing four shots. The Blugolds finished the game with 36 shots.
Eau Claire is now 7-11-4 overall and 6-8-3 in the NCHA. Finlandia drops to 0-21 on the season and 0-17 in the conference.
The Blugolds will play Finlandia again Saturday at 1 p.m. Eastern in Hancock, Mich.